The mark of a really exceptional nail polish or design is when you look down at your hands or catch a glance of your nails and are mesmerized. That’s the exact beauty of holographic nails. This shimmering nail polish trend offers a look that’s out-of-this-world—even though it’s one you can easily achieve at home. Below, we’re breaking down the holo trend and sharing how to paint your nails with holographic polish.
What Are Holographic Nails?
Holographic nails are an updated take on high-shine, shimmer-packed polish. They still have those qualities, but there’s more to it. When you tilt your nails and look at them under direct light, they not only shimmer but the color shifts, and you’ll see a beautiful spectrum of shades. With holographic nail polish, this is done using holographic pigments that either refract or diffract light, creating a shimmering rainbow effect.
What’s The Difference Between Chrome and Holographic Nails?
Chrome nails are another stunning nail art option, and they can be done using a similar method to holographic nails, but the two aren’t the same. Chrome nails have a metallic finish that resembles the shiniest metal you can imagine. A silver shade is ultra-popular, but you can get chrome nails in a variety of colors.
4 Ways To Get Holographic Nails
Like we said, holographic nails are something you can get at home. No trip to the nail salon necessary. In fact, there are different ways to embrace the holo nail trend, and you can choose which one to try based on the intensity you’re going for and your skill level. Below, find four ways to give your nails a holographic finish.
1. Holographic Nail Polish
Holographic nail polish is one of the easiest ways to get holo nails, and it’s also one of the most common. There are holographic polishes that are scattered with holographic shimmer—these are best for layering over another shade—as well as polishes that create a uniform, all-over rainbow look. How to paint holographic nails remains the same for either option. In fact, it’s the exact same process as using a regular nail polish.
Apply your base coat, brush the formula onto your nails, layer to your desired intensity, then finish things off with a top coat. Since your holographic nail polish is sure to catch plenty of attention, complete your manicure with a little moisture for your hands and nails. Try the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Manuka Honey All Over Balm - Face, Neck, Chest and Hands, which wraps skin in soothing moisture.
2. Nail Foils
Nail foils are one of our favorite ways to create holographic nails, as the results can be quite dramatic. You’ll need a holographic nail foil, a nail polish for your base color, and a top coat. Start by painting your nails as you normally would. Let them dry to the point of being tacky, then press the non-holographic side of your foils onto your nails. This will transfer the foil to your nails and give them that beautiful holo look. You can cover your entire nail or create an abstract design with splotches of holographic shimmer. Brush on a top coat to lock in the foiled design, and you’re all set.
Editor’s tip: That tacky consistency is key for nail foils. For this reason, you may want to work on just one or two nails at a time, otherwise the base polish may dry completely while you were applying the foil to another nail. You can also use a special nail foil adhesive instead of trying to time things perfectly when your polish starts to get sticky.
3. Holographic Nail Powder
Nail art powders may not be part of your standard manicure, but they’re more than worth knowing about. These pigmented powders can give you some of the most intensely holographic nails. There are also chrome powders, which are one way people get chrome nails.
To try a holographic powder, you’ll need an at-home gel manicure kit. Polish your nails with the gel base coat and nail polish, curing each with your LED light. Then, dip a cotton swab or eyeshadow applicator sponge into the holographic powder and rub it over your nails. Since they’ve been cured, this won’t remove the nail polish underneath. Wipe away any excess powder, then layer the gel top coat on and cure your nails once more. Use an alcohol pad to sweep away any sticky residue as the final step.
4. Press-On Nails
If you’re a total nail-painting novice, you can’t beat press-on nails. They come in just about every pattern, color, and finish (including holo), so you can try every trend, regardless of your level of nail art expertise. Pick up a pack of holographic press-ons and apply them for an instantly other-worldly manicure.
Next, while we’re on the topic of press-ons, check out our article, Are Press-On Toenails The Secret To At-Home Pedicures?